Who can resist the allure of a mystery? This is exactly what experiential event planning company Mystery Trip is founded on. Dave Green, chief mysterious officer/creator (how cool!), discussed the revolutionizing new way to take groups on an adventure.
Green says, “It makes me really happy to show people a good time. It’s not trust falls, it’s a silly time where people get to act like a kid again and get their minds off the office.”
The concept began as a summer party that Green threw friends annually. He would simply email a list of items to bring and the time they’d be leaving. The format worked so well, that each year the trips attracted more people and became increasingly elaborate. By the end of 2010, Green turned his mission of bringing delight into a professional service. And the formula has endured—taking people to undiscovered and underappreciated gems.
Understanding the success of Mystery Trip makes a few lessons clear. Namely, which activities truly engage groups. If you choose an out-of-the-box activity, the unpredictable can be embraced even if you opt out of surprising attendees. These types of activities are guaranteed to bring joy.
Sound of Learning
Music is always a unifying source. Instead of going somewhere to passively listen, groups can learn to create sounds themselves. Mystery Trip has engaged groups in everything from deejaying classes to unconventional karaoke sessions.
At the Smart Meetings West National event in September, our attendees were offered the chance to enroll in a cardio drumming exercise. Even though this activity wasn’t about the sounds per say, it was an innovative way to enjoy the motions.
An important element of Mystery Trip is that it levels the corporate hierarchy so everyone can truly connect. When people are sharing an immersive experience, communication comes naturally.
One Mystery Trip activity that accomplished this mission was a flash mob lesson and subsequent performance. Instead of being confined to a table or sitting in rows passively watching a speaker, movement and expression established an open environment. Plus, everyone was in the same boat—dancing in public. Exposure which might be difficult to face alone was encountered with a group mentality.
Quirky sports don’t have to be strenuous. Mystery Trip has taken one group to old school roller skating—which created a situation where pretty much everyone was at a beginner level. The group mutually endured the fear and thrill of something new. Additionally, watching an unconventional sport, such as sumo wrestling, can also provide the benefits of engaging in friendly competition and familiarizing with the exotic.